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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
March 21, 2013     Valley News and Views
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March 21, 2013

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Page 2 March 21st, 2013 Valley News & Views "Heartwarming" is the word that best describes the experience of returning to the place where one grew up and being "in touch" with childhood friends and lifelong acquaintances. Even when a cold Northwest winds howls outside and four-feet snow banks line the streets, it's warming to make the trip for a rare evening of coming together. On March 13th, a group of University of North Dakota students on a "Stone Soup Tour" parked in front of the Senior Center in Towner, ND, to conclude a day of learning about life in a ranch town four blocks wide and historic from early wayfarers and subsequent immigrant settlement. The students had forgone their week's spring break on sunny shores elsewhere to experience rural communities as self-directed learning. The original Stone Soup folk tale is a children's story about cooperation with the theme of making something significant from lots of small contributions from villagers who add nutrients to a returning soldier's "cooking pot" with a polished stone in it. Manyin the Towner Senior Center were octogenarians whose parents or grandparents were among the first settlers that opened Dakota Territory over 100 years ago. What were striking to me were first-hand stories about how it was to grow up in the "dirty thirties" and what it was like for a woman to attend college during the "forties" when hundreds of male classmates were killed in invasions duringWWII. One university student said, "I could have read book after book about early history and heard many lectures, but I would not have learned as much as sitting here face to face with those who lived it, and I thank you for that." A local 8th grader was sitting in the front row, helping work the PA system, but he was leaning forward, eager to ask questions and to participate. As I entered the center, I saw a childhood playmate, now 85, who was a former neighbor. As I extended my right arm to shake hands, he grabbed my hand with both of his hands and said, "Larrie, do you remember when we buried that mason jar of pennies in your garden during the war. We've got to dig that up." I said that I'd be back when its warmer, with a shovel, and I will. My friend from across the playground was a mutual basketball player, high school band player and later a veteran. When I return to dig up the mason jar, we will exchange stories about our veteran experiences and I'll post his story in the now emerging "Story Mapping Dakota" project, which became a signed agreement last Friday. And the "Golden Paper Clip" project at UND is also moving forward to help create job awareness and networking for recent returnees attending college by having veterans and potential employers wear a "golden paperclip" on their personal attire in order to recognize each other. I was on a self-directed journey too, like the students were. I was trying to seek out a veteran in each of the four start-up towns to gather their stories for filming later in the Spring. The day before, I met with a veteran in Stanton who served at MAFB, met his wife here and now is active as an accomplished artist to support the "Friends Group" from the Knife River Indian Heritage Foundation adjacent to the US Park A Chronicle of Red River Steamboating Part 30 By K. C. Gardner, Jr. 1889 April 18--TheAlsop arrived in Grand Forks, hauling three barges of wheat from Drayton. April 29--The Alsop came into Grand Forks from Drayton and left for Belmont onApri130. George McMaster was the mate and pilot. May 14--The Alsop was tied up at Grand Forks due to low water; the boat was planning only one more trip that season. During the week of June 21, three million feet of logs passed by Drayton down the Red bound forWinnipeg and the saw mills. July2--TheAlsop got steam up and headed downriver from Grand Forks. July 6--It was announced that the dredging done at Acton two years before had been silted in by the river and no steamboats could get through. August 6--A Grand Forks resident was quoted as saying that "No white man living has ever seen the water lower than at present." That year the former Alsop Bros. boats--the Grandin and the Alsop--carried 3637 tons of freight, 3000 of which was wheat. 1890 April 20--Despite low water the Alsop under Captain Bruce Griggs arrived in Drayton from Grand Forks. The steamer and its barges departed on April 21 with 8000 bushels of wheat. Two more trips and the river elevator would be empty. James M. Graham of Drayton supervised the loading of the barges. The Red River was very low. April 30- -A steamboat [probably the Alsop] and five barges loaded wheat from the river elevator, renamed the Minneapolis & Northern, in Drayton. May 6--The Alsop with five barges arrived in Grand Forks. May 14--The Alsop came in from Belmont with 20,000 bushels of wheat, which it unloaded at the Great Northern Elevator. May 16--The Alsop headed for Drayton to load 10,000 bushes of wheat. With continued low water, it was predicted there would be an early close to river navigation that season. May 19--The Alsop steamed into Drayton for more wheat. May 29--The Alsop pulled into Grand Forks. June 6- -The Alsop brought three barges of wheat into Grand Forks from Belmont. By August 15 the Alsop was being rebuilt under the direction of Captain Bruce Griggs; the Red was very low. By August 29 St. Andrews had two river elevators. During the week of October 24, the government river steamer and some U.S. engineers came down the Red from Grand Forks to Pembina, sounding the river and locating sandbars with a view to having them removed as the government had appropriated some money for that purpose. November 7--The Red froze at Drayton. facility. In Rugby the day after, I met a Viet Nam veteran, suffering from Agent Orange who had many stories to tell. The next day, I met ayoung returnee at the GFAB who is a surviving victim from the terrorist attack of a military bus at Frankfurt Airport in 2011. Then I met a friend whose brother as a civilian contractor caught a grazing bullet to the head while serving in Afghanistan. Monday, I intended to be in Drayton, but spend some hours in a snowdrift before deferring plans. And as I write this, I met a man who served in Viet Nam, worked with the Bob Hope shows, and now hires veterans in his business, including a former POW. The amazing thing about meeting most of these veterans was that I had no advanced knowledge of them while stopping for coffee, here and there, on a return trip to Grand Forks. Sitting at the counter at coffee stops, listening to people talk, asking two or three questions and lo and behold, a veteran story unfolds, often an untold one. In one occasion, the local person serving at the counter did not know how "famous" the customer was from history. The ND legislature is currently debating a bill to extend and possibly improve the educational services to veterans who are attending college. The bill today is in committee discussion. Today, I agreed to volunteer as part of a student group -- Military Association for College Volunteers (MAC-V) - at UND, as I'* believe that among the 500+ recent returnees who are studying for new careers are probably the best human capital investments that we have. The organization States policymakers across the country have always been plagued by undue political influence whenever an economic interest develops a huge stake in state policies. MontanahaditsAnaconda Copper; West Virginia its coal; Delaware its DuPont Chemical, and North Dakota its Alexander McKenzie who facilitated control of the state by Minneapolis-St. Paul railroads, banks and chain elevators. This effort to influence or control state policy is understandable. When major industries are subject to multi-million dollar decisions by elected officials, they find it profitable to spend huge sums of money to see that the right decisions are made. Some of this money will be spent not only to finance the political campaigns of favorable candidates but it will also be used in more subtle ways, such as expense-paid junkets, job opportunities, financing pet projects, or favoring the relatives of a strategically- situated official. As the size of NorthDakota's oil industry grows, we should expect that the vulnerability of elected officials will grow with it. Abuses are likely to occur. Human nature hasn't changed since the days of Alexander McKenzie. Some Dunn County folks believe this has already happened and argue that they have a case in hand. They claim that there was wrongdoing when the oil industry contributed $10,000 to the political campaign of a key official two weeks before the State Industrial Commission made a decision on a Dunn oil field. To get this issue resolved, critics of the Industrial Commission are trying to use the section of state law that authorizes the calling of a grand jury by citizen petition to investigate. In response to this effort, the Legislature is entertaining a proposal to make it more difficult for citizens to use the grand jury approach. The measure passed in House of Representatives by a two-to- one vote and is now in the Senate. Under present law, petitions must be signed by 10 percent of the number voting in the last election. The proposed legislation calls for 25 percent of the county population. By changing the percentage and the base, this measure would mean an increase in signatures of 400 percent, making the citizen petition process so difficult it would become unusable. We need to wonder about the motives for keeping citizens from calling a grand jury. The petition process rarely has been used and has never been abused in the past but maybe an important tool in the future. Other safeguards may become necessary to protect the integrity of the policy processes in North Dakota. At some point, we may need to have an ethics monitoring system completely insulated from the reach of elected officials The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled that there can be no limits on campaign contributions and that front organizations can make contributions without disclosing sources. If they wished, well-heeled interests could easily buy enough influence to subvert public policy. The state would be well- advised to require full and quick public disclosure of campaign contributions. SecretaryofStateA1Jaegerhas fine-tuned the technology to the point where we could have full disclosure on a daily basis. The oil industry has pushed North Dakota into the big league. Oil has big league financial interests; it has big league money, and will play big league hardball. While being wary, North Dakotans do appreciate the wealth and the jobs that the oil industry has brought to the state. But that is no reason to leave the store unlocked. invites retired veterans to participate. Veterans are among us in schools and communities, and like the daily discovery of veteran stories across the rural landscape described above, we need to network to serve those who have served our country and help create job opportunities to bring unemployment among veterans on an even par with the general population. At The City Office 122 S. Main St. rg l I l m i m l m i 11 I. On Your Next Oil Change ! 22 Main Street In Drayton 454-3500 -- -- -- ires 3-29-13 -- -- -- m m m m m m m n m 120% OFF On Your Next Meal Call For Take Out and Daily Specials J "1 Expires 3.26-13 l_ ......... J I" ..... " m m .-- "1 Courtesy of Valley News and Views These Coupons are being made available exclusively to our readers and subscribers. You must have a coupon to make purchase and only coupons clipped from this paper are redeemable. Special Offers Every Week And We'll Be Adding More to the List. Now, It Pays to Subscribe to the Valley News and Views Subscribe Online at Stop In, Call 454-6333, Or Write Us @ Box 309, Drayton, 58225 Already a Subscriber.... Tell that friend that keeps bugging you for your coupons that they should Subscribe Too. r l i l. l l l i l i "1 L u m m m For Appointment 701-454-3555 m l l l l l m iJ l l l l l i l "1 ,'s Country Market Coupon good through 3-27-13 ~-- l I n m m imm i i n rso ..... _ _ _ Kelly's Country Market J "1 Boneless Skinless Chicken feasts 2 Ib bag 8 Ounce Box I I. Limit 2 Packages per Coupon Coupon good through 3-26-13 --. J L l Limit 2 Packages per Coupon Coupon good through 3-26-13 n ~ i ill m I m m ,,I